U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) this week helped introduce two bills to improve school safety. The School Safety & Mental Health Services Improvement Act and the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018 will help improve school safety infrastructure, resources, and procedures to prevent school violence.
“We must ensure our schools have the resources needed to keep students safe and prevent another horrible tragedy like Parkland from occurring. By encouraging school safety infrastructure upgrades, more school counselors and mental health professionals, and improved communication, these bills can help keep our kids safe,” said Senator Young.
The School Safety & Mental Health Services Improvement Act 3-7-2018-school-safety-and-mh-improvement-act-one-pager introduced by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and cosponsored by Senator Young allows 100,000 public schools to improve school safety by using federal dollars for school counselors, alarm systems, security cameras and crisis intervention training. Specifically, the bill:
- Encourages more school counselors and other mental health professionals.
- Encourages school safety infrastructure upgrades.
- Encourages the development of mental health programs for crisis intervention training and mental health assessments.
- Creates a presidential task force to increase interagency communication.
The bipartisan Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018 STOP School Violence_Final introduced by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and cosponsored by Senator Young reauthorizes and amends the 2001-2009 bipartisan Secure Our Schools Act to offer Department of Justice grants to states to help schools implement proven, evidence-based programs and technologies that stop school violence before it happens. The bill permits grants to fund evidence-based programs and practices to:
- Train students, school personnel, and local law enforcement to identify and warning signs and intervene to stop school violence before it happens.
- Improve school security infrastructure to deter and respond to threats of school violence, including the development and implementation of anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence.
- Develop and operate school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams.
- Facilitate coordination between schools and local law enforcement.